Paddock veteran Felipe Massa managed to squeeze in-between of the idling Red Bull Racing RB13s and qualified sixth at the Sochi Autodrom.
Williams Martini Racing were vocal in their confidence prior to the knock out sessions and Massa managed to find an extra 0.051s over Max Verstappen.
This undoubtedly looks favourable for Williams, who are looking to further themselves from the midfield. Red Bull had proven too strong for the British team at the three previous race weekends but appear to be flailing in the development fight, which is playing into Williams’ hands.
“It was a great qualifying for us,” he said. “It’s so nice to see that we are in the middle of the two Red Bulls.
“They were better than us in the first three races, on qualifying and race pace, but this is a good track for us and we are fighting with them.”
The undoubted on-track action is certainly piquing the Brazilian’s interest. He approaches the race with a renewed sense of confidence.
“I’m happy with the position we’re starting, but I’m also happy that maybe tomorrow we can fight with them again,” he continued. “I will try everything I can, I’m very motivated and I hope everything will be right for us to have a good race tomorrow.”